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achieved profitability in January 2003. Since its launch the technology has been refined
extensively.The eBooks'Web site was relaunched in August 2003.When eBooks.com
first launched, it had agreements with forty-five publishers and offered 350 titles. At
the time of its relaunch 140 publishers had come on board and over 25,000 titles were
available.
In collaboration with leading university and research libraries and major academic
publishers, eBooks Corporation is developing eBook Library (EBL), which will deliver
an expanding catalogue of ebooks to
academic and research libraries.
Libraries face significant challenges in
the new digital publishing environment,
and the growth of electronic journals
and ebook databases has both trans-
formed and complicated the acquisition
and servicing of library materials.
Supported in part by a research and
development grant from the Australian
government, EBL aims to extend cur-
rent digital lending capabilities, enable greater availability of books, and deliver real cost
savings and convenience to libraries and book publishers.
Publishers need to secure their business viability by ensuring that electronic content
cannot be easily replicated and re-distributed. DRM has been a standard component of
ebook delivery at eBooks.com. eBooks Corporation's contract with publishers establishes
that ebook content will only be distributed through industry accepted and trusted DRM
protected formats. In developing a DRM-driven lending model a balance had to be
reached between the use of DRM to manage access and fair use; the digital medium
needs to be used to increase accessibility
to content, while at the same time
ensuring that this accessibility does not
compromise copyright or fair compen-
sation to the creator or publisher for
the use of their materials.
In constructing the eBook Library
the team has gained extensive expertise
in the acquisition, creation, protection,
management, and distribution of digital
books.They found three aspects of
DRMs crucial:
- the contract or licensing of content with the publishers;
- the licensing of the platform and content to libraries, which determines how the
books can be lent (guided by the distribution licences secured from the publishers);
and
- the rules which control how the end-user can interact with and use the content.
In reaching a decision on the technologies used for the final system, the team investi-
gated all the available ebook formats and eventually elected to utilise a combination of a
bespoke DRM system with an encrypted browser for online access. Access to the ebooks
Rights Management and
Payment Technologies
134
eBooks.com
eBooks homepage
eBooks.com
The eBook Library interface and document server
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